Are your solar lights not matching the aesthetic of your landscaping design? Solar panels are an excellent source of power for outdoor lighting. This tutorial will guide you through the process of hardwiring your solar lights to ensure they shine exactly where you want them to.

Keep reading to light up your yard like a pro!

Understanding Solar Lights and Their Configuration

Solar light bulbs arranged in series and parallel with a voltage meter.

Before hard-wiring your solar lights, it’s important to understand the voltage and configuration of your light bulbs. Check if they are wired in series or parallel to ensure a smooth transition when rewiring them.

Checking the voltage of your solar light bulbs

Solar lights work with low voltage, which is safer than regular electric power. You must know your solar light bulb’s voltage to change it for use with electricity.

  1. Find your solar light’s manual. It usually tells the voltage.
  2. Look for any labels on the light bulb or socket. They may have voltage information.
  3. Get a multimeter tool. This device will help you measure the voltage.
  4. Set the multimeter to DC voltage mode, because solar lights use direct current.
  5. Touch the multimeter probes to the positive and negative ends of the solar light battery pack or where the bulb connects.
  6. Read what shows up on the multimeter screen; this number is your bulb’s voltage.
  7. Write down this number so you can find a power source that matches it when you hard wire your lights.

Understanding if your solar lights are wired in series or parallel

Once you know the voltage of your solar light bulbs, it’s time to see how they’re connected. If your lights are in series, they link like a chain, one after another. This means if one light has trouble, all the lights after it might not work right.

But if they’re wired in parallel, each light connects directly to the power source. That way, even if one bulb goes out or gets shady, the others keep shining bright.

To figure this out for your lights, look at how the wires run from each bulb to where they get power. You can also use a voltage detector or check with an expert who knows about solar unit setups and electrical wiring.

This will tell you what kind of changes or tools you’ll need to hard wire them safely into a power outlet or switch at home.

Steps to Hard Wire Solar Lights

A person installs solar lights on their outdoor patio at dusk.

Create a new configuration plan for your lights and use an exterior-grade transformer to rewire them.

Creating a new configuration plan for your lights

To hard-wire solar lights, you need a good plan. First, check how much power your lights need.

  • Look at the voltage requirements of your solar light bulbs. Write down the number.
  • Find out if your lights are in a series or parallel setup. This changes how you connect them.
  • Draw a picture to show where each light will go. Use paper and pencil for this.
  • Decide where you will put your transformer outside. It needs to be safe from water.
  • Mark where wires will come out of the wall or go into the ground. This helps avoid accidents.
  • Choose the right wire type that is safe for outdoors. It should be thick enough for the power needed.
  • Plan for strain relief parts to protect wires from breaking at bends or exits.
  • Think about how you’ll turn the lights on and off. You might want a switch or a dimmer in your plan.
  • Include any extra parts like pigtails or screw terminals in your drawing.

Using an exterior grade transformer to rewire your lights

You can use an exterior-grade transformer to rewire your solar lights to run on electricity. Here are the steps:

  1. Purchase a 3V exterior-grade transformer to convert the solar lights to electricity.
  2. Ensure the transformer is suitable for outdoor use and can handle the total wattage of your lights.
  3. Connect the positive wire from the light to the positive terminal of the transformer and do the same with the negative wires.
  4. Use weatherproof wire connectors to secure the connections and protect them from outdoor elements.
  5. Test each light after rewiring to ensure they are functioning properly with the new electrical power source.


Converting solar lights to wired ones is a straightforward process. The first step is to expose the white and black cables of the solar lights. Then, plan the wiring route carefully with the power off before using a DC transformer to convert them into wired lights.

Solar yard lights are not just easy to install but also generate their power during the day and release it at night. LED solar lights are an excellent energy alternative as they don’t require any wiring due to being powered by solar radiation.

With these steps, you can easily convert your outdoor solar lights into reliable wired lighting systems.

If you’re interested in utilizing solar energy beyond lighting, learn how to heat your greenhouse with solar panels.


Can I make my battery-powered solar lights work with mains electricity?

Yes, with the right power supply or power inverter, battery-powered solar lights can be connected to mains power through a wall outlet.

How do I make sure the polarity is correct when wiring solar lights?

Check the positive and negative wires using your light’s manual to match them correctly; this prevents things like short circuits.

Do LED bulbs need a resistor when connecting to AC mains?

Yes, most LED bulbs require a series resistor in their circuitry to work properly on AC mains without burning out due to excess current.

Can I use any charger as a plug for my PV system in solar lights?

No, you should use an appropriate charge controller or phone charger that matches your system’s voltage requirements and protects against overcharging.

Is it safe to replace incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs in electric lighting powered by solar panels?

It is generally safe if the bulb fits into an E26 screw base of your fixtures; however, ensure that your circuit can handle new bulb types since they have different resistance levels.

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